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Livable Communities Program Is Transforming America

As a result, countless towns are now better places to grow older

Group of AARP volunteers photographed in Texas

Josué Rivas

AARP volunteers created a mural featuring Lone Star themes, with AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus nodding her approval at right.

Volunteers cleaning up the neighborhood

Bryan Anselm

Sayreville, New Jersey

AARP New Jersey volunteers refurbished a dilapidated horseshoe pit and cleaned up the town park.

AARP Community parklet in Jackson, Mississippi


Jackson, Mississippi

A $15,000 AARP Community Challenge grant turned parking spaces into a "parklet" that's now an inviting gathering place.

En español | New walking paths? A better bus stop? A colorful mural where a dingy parking lot once stood?

Look around. AARP's Livable Communities program is sprucing up America, making countless towns a better place to grow older. By 2035 Americans 65-plus in the nation will outnumber those under age 18, and AARP is working to help everyone adapt.

Already more than 360 communities nationwide and four states —Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts and New York — have become members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

Members consider every facet of life for older residents: transportation, access to technology, business and tax incentives, appropriate housing (a big issue), access to health care, living costs, and hiring practices. The process is as individual as the needs of each community.

AARP also has funded more than $2 million worth of Community Challenge grants. Within two years these quick-action grants went to 217 communities.

The results: artistic bike racks in Annapolis, Md.; an outdoor storytelling space on Blackfeet Nation tribal land in Montana; and an intergenerational community garden in the Florida Keys.

If it makes life easier, AARP walks the walk — complete with nicer sidewalks.




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